Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tasty Treat: Lavender Lemon Poundcake

It was Sunday, Valentine's Day, around 2PM. Baby Girl was asleep in her crib and the hubby was asleep on the couch. I was sitting in an armchair sipping earl grey tea and thumbing through Claudia Fleming's The Last Course. Specifically, I wanted to make the Warm Chocolate Ganache Cakes, which are like molten chocolate cakes but even more intensely chocolate. My mother and I use to gobble them down at Gramercy Tavern where Fleming was the pastry chef years ago.

However, I'd already committed to making Steak Frites for dinner, which might've been a stressful undertaking and baby girl isn't one to wait patiently for a bespoke molten chocolate cake to bake after dinner's done. So, I sighed and promised myself I'd make those ganache cakes another time. I flipped some more and came across Fleming's recipe for Lavender Lemon Poundcake. It's a recipe I'd flipped past several times, but hadn't found the right time to try it out. It's a breeze to make and baby girl greatly enjoyed helping me brush the lemon sugar syrup over the cake. As she went back and forth and back and forth over the same little corner, she chanted happily, "I'm painting! I'm painting!"

Lavender Lemon Poundcake
Adapted from Claudia Fleming's The Last Course
(Light and lemony with a hint of lavender, this is about the most perfect tea cake.)

What You'll Need:

For the Cake:
1 cup Unsalted Butter
2 tbsp Dried Lavender Blossoms
5 large Eggs
1 cup Sugar
1 1/2 cup White Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Lemon Zest minced
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Syrup:
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Lemon Juice

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan and set aside. Add the butter and lavender to a small saucepan and melt over a low heat. Remove from the heat and let the lavender infuse into the butter for 10-20 minutes. Heat up again if the butter starts to coagulate and then strain the butter into a small mixing bowl and set aside.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk, add the eggs and sugar. Beat on high until the mixture has lightened and grown immensely. 5-7 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

Combine the flour and salt in a separate bowl and whisk together. Gently whisk it in stages into the egg and sugar mixture. Add the vanilla. 

Add a cup of the batter to the melted butter and gently combine it. Then add the butter mixture to the remaining batter and gently stir. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and pop in the oven. Cook for 35-40 minutes until brown on top and a knife comes out clean. Set on a rack to cool.

In a small saucepan, add the water, lemon juice and sugar and warm up just enough for the sugar to dissolve. Remove from the heat.

As the cake is cooling, poke it all over with a knife and then brush the lemon syrup all over the cake. Let it cool for 10 minutes and then turn the cake out, invert it and brush the bottoms and sides with the syrup. Turn the cake right side up and brush the top with the remaining syrup.

To serve, a little fresh whipped cream is a lovely addition. Enjoy!

Approximate Dinner Cost:
Groceries: $7
Cost per Meal: 8-10 servings

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  1. So pretty! and with whole wheat flour, too -- can't wait to try this one!

  2. I've always been intrigued by lavender in cooking. Will make this cake fro guests over the weekend. Thanks!

  3. wow, Peggy, it IS easy. And it looks so beautiful. You've inspired me (at least, to think about making it:)

  4. Alexandra!! Let me know how it turns out. The more lemon syrup the better:)

  5. There is something special about eating food made with flowers.

  6. This post is so sweet and beautifully written. I love how Baby Girl did the painting. I am looking forward to trying this recipe!

  7. Yet another recipe of yours I've had to bookmark! I can see making these perhaps for a gift or party favor, as well. Lovely.

  8. Looks delicious! I am frequently craving chocolate and dreaming up what I can make, so I hope you post about your other recipe soon, too ;)

  9. Peggy, This cake looks divine. It's 3 pm on a lazy, rainy Sunday and I so want you to come by for a cup of tea and a slice of your lemony, lavendery cake. Think you can swing that pronto?

  10. I wish I could have shared this cake with more people. As tasty and these things are, I can't have them in the house for too long!

  11. I've got to say, if I read this a year ago my reaction would have been, "potpourri in cake?!" But last June (or so) I went to a lavender farm up in the Olympic Peninsula, and there were plenty of food items for sale that had been made with lavender. Lamb chops, cookies, some infused oils...they were all surprisingly fantastic. I'd love to try this poundcake - I'm a convert now! Thanks for posting it.

  12. What a gorgeous cake! I can just imagine how amazing the kitchen smelled with this cake was baking :)

  13. Oh it did smell just wonderful. Lavender and lemon are favorite scents!

  14. Sounds fabulous, and looks wonderful!

  15. Oh I love the flavour combination... fabulous! How sweet that you had 'help' with 'painting'!!



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